Featured News

Dawkins: Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refinery bonuses are unacceptable

State tax credits to help finance new shopping center

(Mar 20, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 6 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today announced the award of $7 million in state tax credits to aid construction of a new $29 million shopping center at Harbison Avenue and Tulip Street. Known as Shoppes at Wissinoming, the 110,000-square-foot project will include a Shoprite Supermarket as the anchor tenant, plus space for retail stores and restaurants. “This is great news for our area,” Dawkins said. “I am committed to providing the 179 th District with the resources it needs to support healthy food options and family-sustaining jobs. Shoprite will bring fresh food and produce to our area, which we have been lacking for a long time. The project and new businesses will also create hundreds of jobs, and help move our community forward.” Shoppes at Wissinoming is expected to support 250 full-time jobs during 18 months of construction and create 300 permanent, full-time jobs once completed and fully occupied. Shoprite is expected to employ more than 200 full- and part-time workers who will be offered benefits, job training and career advancement opportunities. ### Read more


Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office

(Feb 15, 2016)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more


PACE prescription programs benefit seniors

(Feb 10, 2016)

PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more


Dawkins: End the Budget Crisis

(Feb 09, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins says it's time for lawmakers to put people before politics and take Pennsylvania down a path where schools are funded, those in need get help and our homeowners don't face higher property taxes every year. Read more


CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind

(Jan 29, 2016)

Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more


Dawkins Honors Gun Violence Victims

(Jan 12, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins speaks about his house resolution honoring the victims of the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs. Read more


Dawkins votes against bill shielding cops who fire their guns

(Jan 06, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 19 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., voted against a bill that would give anonymity to police officers who discharge a firearm or use force unless the officer is charged with a crime in the incident. Proponents claim that the bill, H.B. 1538 , would protect police officers and their families from retaliation when they discharge their firearm or use force, but it seems that it only serves to shield them from any scrutiny of the actions, Dawkins said. "At a time when the relationship between law enforcement and the minority communities they serve is already strained, the last thing we need is a bill that would create suspicion and potentially damage public trust," Dawkins said. "This is a poorly written bill that may be unconstitutional. I am a huge supporter of our men and women who put that uniform on every day to protect the people of this great city, but transparency is desperately needed for our public figures." Dawkins also noted that Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association oppose this bill. The bill passed the House 162-38 and now goes to the Senate. ### Read more


Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Jan 01, 2016)

Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more


PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2015)

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more


Dawkins: Expungement bill passes the House

(Dec 11, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 27 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today applauded House passage of a bill that would allow for criminal record expungement in certain situations. As the only African American and Philadelphian on the House Judiciary Committee, Dawkins played a crucial part in moving the bill out of committee for the historic floor vote in the House. "This legislation would directly benefit thousands of Philadelphians suffering from past convictions, which prohibit them from gainful employment and housing," Dawkins said. "Criminal record expungement will allow them to move past prior offenses and become productive citizens." The bill, S.B. 166, would allow a person convicted of a third- or second-degree misdemeanor, if at least 10 years have passed since they completed their sentence, to request the opportunity to appear before a judge and ask for an expungement. All violent offenses punishable by imprisonment of more than two years, and many others of a serious nature, would be prohibited from being subject to an order for limited access under the bill. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. ### Read more


Dawkins applauds fee waiver for volunteer background checks

(Jun 10, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, June 10 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to waive fees for child abuse clearances and criminal background checks for volunteers working with children. Laws enacted last year to bolster how Pennsylvania responds to child abuse would have required volunteers to secure criminal history and child abuse clearances, costing $10 each, beginning July 1. Almost 300,000 volunteers are projected to seek the clearances in the first year. “We have many people who want to volunteer with a variety of programs to assist children,” Dawkins said. “These programs are an important part of many neighborhoods in Philadelphia, and I am thrilled we won’t force volunteers to pay out of pocket on top of donating their time.” Besides waiving fees for volunteers working with children, Wolf today also said the Department of Human Services and the state police will be reducing the cost of both the child abuse and criminal history record checks from $10 to $8 for all other applicants. ### Read more


Dawkins appointed to Judiciary Committee

(May 14, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, May 14 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., announced today that he was appointed to serve on the House Judiciary Committee for the remainder of the 2015-16 legislative session. The Judiciary Committee reviews bills pertaining to law enforcement and corrections. It provides oversight over a number of state agencies, including the Pennsylvania State Police, Attorney General's Office, Department of Corrections, the State Ethics Commission, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Office of General Counsel, Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing and the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission. Dawkins said that the committee also evaluates prison staffing and inmate populations and housing conditions. "I'm honored to receive an appointment to this important committee that plays a vital role in crafting legislation that will address critical criminal justice reform issues, such as ending the school-to-prison pipeline, reducing recidivism, and increasing opportunities for expungement," Dawkins said. "This appointment allows me to bring my constituents’ concerns about our law enforcement and judicial systems to the table as we debate these important issues." Dawkins also serves on the Health, Human Services, Urban Affairs and Aging and Older Adult Services committees. ### Read more


Spring 2015 Newsletter

(Apr 30, 2015)

Spring Newsletter Read more


Dawkins, HDPC discuss education funding

(Mar 09, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, March 9 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., served as co-chairman of today’s House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on education funding in Philadelphia. Dawkins requested the hearing, citing the need for a fair education funding formula that would give students in urban districts an equal opportunity at a quality education in Pennsylvania. "As a new legislator, the oath of office is fresh in my mind," Dawkins said. "We have a constitutional obligation to provide a quality education to all Pennsylvania children. We need to do everything in our power to uphold that commitment, regardless of where students live." Those testifying at the hearing included: Pedro Rivera, acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education; Philadelphia City Council members Maria Quinones-Sanchez, 7th District, and Jannie Blackwell, 3rd District; Isaiah Thomas, associate dean of students at Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School; Helen Gym, co-founder, Parents United for Public Education; Nelson Diaz, partner at Dilworth Paxson LLP; Brett Schaeffer, communications director and policy analyst at the Education Law Center; Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn, Education Committee chair of the PA State Conference of NAACP Branches; and Bishop Dwayne Rouster, executive director of Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower & Rebuild (POWER). Dawkins said each panelist contributed a meaningful perspective on the commonwealth’s need Read more


Youngblood, Dawkins: Pa. must strengthen sibling visitation rights

(Feb 04, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – State Reps. Rosita C. Youngblood and Jason Dawkins, both D-Phila., have introduced legislation to strengthen sibling visitation rights and recognize the importance of these relationships on the emotional and psychological development of children. The Philadelphia lawmakers say their proposal (H.B. 338) would simply provide standing in court to siblings who wish to petition for visitation rights, similar to grandparents' rights already provided under state law. The decision to grant sibling visitation rights would still rest in the hands of a judge. Youngblood, who introduced the legislation last session, said studies have documented the importance of sibling relationships in the development and growth of children. She said the bond between siblings is unique and powerful, and provides a structure beyond all other relationships critical to a child's development. "The state already acknowledges the importance of sibling relationships with regard to adoption and foster care, by doing everything possible to keep siblings together in those difficult circumstances," Youngblood said. "The same protection should be extended to all children separated from their siblings, especially in situations where the family structure has significantly changed. Once sibling relationships are established, the bond is an essential part of a child's life and we need to make sure that they have an opportunity to keep Read more


Winter 2015 Newsletter

(Feb 03, 2015)

Winter 2015 Newsletter Read more


Dawkins named to five key House committees

(Jan 20, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 20 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., announced he has been appointed to serve on five standing committees in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives during the 2015-16 legislative session. "I am eager to take on these responsibilities," Dawkins said. "The committee process is an integral part of how a bill becomes a law." Dawkins was named to the Commerce, Health, Human Services, Urban Affairs, and Aging and Older Adult Services committees. "These committee appointments will allow me to address key issues that are facing my district, such as strengthening our commercial corridors and improving services and protections for our senior population," Dawkins said, "I also look forward to bringing my experiences working with Philadelphia’s City Council to the Urban Affairs Committee, where I will not only be an advocate for the City of Philadelphia, but seek to address the challenges facing urban areas throughout our commonwealth. I look forward to getting to work, and being a voice on the wide range of issues, such as health care and development, that impact our neighborhoods." ### Read more


Dawkins to host town hall meeting Jan. 29

(Jan 07, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 5 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., will host a town hall meeting from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29 at Second Baptist Church, 1801 Meadow St.Dawkins said he will inform constituents about services available through his office and he will seek input and feedback from constituents on issues facing the Frankford neighborhood.There is no need to RSVP for this event. For more information, please call Dawkins’s district office at 215-744-7901 or visit the office at 4915 Frankford Avenue.The event is open to the public and media coverage is invited.### Read more


Dawkins sworn in to first term in House of Representatives

(Jan 06, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today took the oath of office for his first term as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives serving the 179th Legislative District. "I am passionate about public service and eager to make government responsive to my constituents," Dawkins said. "My main goal will be to improve the lives of citizens in our neighborhoods. While working on state level issues, I will always consider how each bill affects the residents of my district on a local level.”Before his election into the legislature, Dawkins served as recreation liaison and special projects director for Philadelphia’s 7th Councilmanic District, where he led the redevelopment of nine recreational facilities in previously underserved neighborhoods. As a senior legislative aide to Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez, he helped craft legislation to create a city land bank to streamline the sale and productive use of roughly 40,000 vacant properties in the city.Dawkins’ legislative priorities include ensuring that all children have access to the best educational opportunities; public safety, especially for children; fighting poverty; job creation; improving transportation infrastructure; and properly funding mass transit.His constituent service office is located at 4915 Frankford Ave. and is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 215-744-7901.Constituents can visit his Read more


Hope for Hannah legislation becomes law

(Dec 28, 2014)

Pennsylvania's children have a new protection thanks to Hannah's Law, named after Hannah Ginion of Bristol Township, who suffered from the rare genetic disorder called Krabbe disease. Hannah passed away on Dec. 28, 2014. Read more